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The Beauty of Thoughtful Neglect: Spring Garden Care in the Ecological Garden, Part One

Why leaves should stay where they are and “Chop and drop” tidying Back in March, shortly after the Covid-19 shutdown began in Illinois,  I was on a zoom meeting with some other native plant gardeners when we got on the subject of spring clean-up. “What does that even mean in the ecological garden?” someone asked. Should it be called clean-up, when what we’re doing more resembles editing, rearranging, and augmenting, with very little clean-up involved? How does the native plant, pollinator and wildlife-friendly (not to mention soil carbon sequestering) gardener help their plot emerge from winter into the growing season? Because I have had more time at home and in the garden, I began to take notes of what it is I actually do.
We all know what conventional spring clean-up looks like here in the Midwest and across the country. It is exemplified by what occurs in April and May in the townhome complex where my sister resides, ruled by the homeowners’ association and the landscapers they hire…

Free Webinar: Native Bees in the Garden

Carbon Gardening: A Podcast at Growing Greener

Early Spring Notes: Life in the Garden During a Risky Time

Carbon Gardening: A Natural Climate Solution that Can Help Reduce CO2 Emissions While Restoring Biodiversity

Gardening as a Political Act of Necessary Beauty

Native Shrubs and Why They're Essential for Carbon Sequestration

Free Webinar: Healthy Soil, Native Plants and Backyard Carbon Sequestration

My Great-Great-Grandfather, a City Park and Some Monarch Butterflies

A Nearly Infinitely Adaptable Recipe for Ecological Regeneration and Soil Carbon Sequestration